Annoying New Amy Sohn Book Elicits Annoying Criticism

Illustration for article titled Annoying New Amy Sohn Book Elicits Annoying Criticism

So by now you've undoubtedly read the Amy Sohn essay in the Awl last month that opens:

Once a month I get together with half a dozen moms from Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. We call ourselves Hookers, Sluts and Drug Addicts.


The piece, which references Girls multiple times ("I was shocked by how true the show rang to my life-not my old life as a post-collegiate single girl but my new one, as a married, monogamous, home-owning mother"), follows Sohn and her friends through late nights, adultery, hard drugs and the kind of "wild, life-craving, narcissistic, oblivious madness... that reminds me of Don Draper and pals in the mid-sixties," ("the men [Sohn and co.'s] mothers divorced"). It's also the backdrop in which her new novel Motherland is set. On Salon yesterday, Sohn was asked why marriage is depicted so unappealingly in her writing:

I'm not so much trying to knock marriage on its head as write about the phenomenon of modern Gen-X marriage. I'm 38 and my generation of parents has so bought into this ideal, the bourgeois ideal around family and school zones and child rearing. What happens when you buy into that, and it kind of sucks anyway?


Here's the thing, though: Don Draper and his friends are gross, and it's not like being a Park Slope mom in addition to being an adulterous, selfish substance abuser makes it any more notably interesting, cool or excusable. It certainly seems that Sohn's trying to trade in on those two characteristics as an oxymoronic gimmick of some kind. That said, the responses to Sohn have been equally nausea-inducing.

A Gothamist writer sent a series of abrasive, hostile interview questions to Sohn that went unanswered, but were posted anyway in the form of a one-sided holier-than-thou rant about Sohn's values ("People are dying in Syria!" "What really galls me is how the values that I was raised with, which were all about community, sacrificing for others, and avoiding consumption, have given way to the world described in your book- militant materialism, especially around real estate, and the celebration of toxic values like celebrity and fame"). Nobody would talk to Don Draper like this:

[Maybe] you imagined it, like in Fight Club, where the other mommys in your "Hookers, Sluts, and Drug Addicts" club are really just in your head and you're actually sitting at home alone with one glass of wine most nights. That's true, right?

The moral of the story is that everyone involved is loud, wrong, and not very nice. :(

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What is Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. Is it worth a google?